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California Proposition 1F, No Legislative Pay Increases if Budget Is In Deficit (May 2009)
- 1 Election results
- 2 Background
- 3 Constitutional changes
- 4 Text of measure
- 5 Explanation from SOS
- 6 Support
- 7 Opposition
- 8 Polls
- 9 Editorial opinion
- 10 Path to the ballot
- 11 External links
- 12 References
Proposition 1F prohibits the California Citizens Compensation Commission, the state commission that sets salary levels for the governor, other top state officials, and members of the California State Legislature (both the state senate and the state assembly) from increasing those salaries if the state General Fund is expected to end the year with a deficit. (Specifically, if the state's Director of Finance reports that there will be "a negative balance in the Special Fund for Economic Uncertainties at the end of that fiscal year.")
In 2009, California legislators were paid $116,208 annually, which is the highest among state legislators in the U.S. California's state legislators also are given $170/day "per diem" expense money for each day they are in session. Unlike most state legislators, California legislators serve full time.
|California Proposition 1F|
- Final results from the California Secretary of State
Proposition 1F is one of six statewide ballot propositions placed on the May ballot as part of a part of the 2009-2010 state budget and tax increase agreement, which include Propositions 1A, 1B, 1C, 1D, 1E and 1F. The package of ballot measures was intended to close an approximately $42 billion budget gap. However, the California Legislative Analyst's Office, an agency of the state government, said in early March that tax revenues flowing into the state treasury are "well below" the projections it used earlier in the year, and that California's government faced an additional $8 billion gap in addition to the earlier $42 billion gap. Proposition 1F was sponsored in the California State Senate as a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment by state senator Abel Maldonado.
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Text of measure
The ballot title was:
The official summary provided to describe Proposition 1F said:
- Encourages balanced state budgets by preventing elected Members of the Legislature and statewide constitutional officers, including the Governor, from receiving pay raises in years when the state is running a deficit.
- Directs the Director of Finance to determine whether a given year is a deficit year.
- Prevents the Citizens Compensation Commission from increasing elected officials’ salaries in years when the state Special Fund for Economic Uncertainties is in the negative by an amount equal to or greater than one percent of the General Fund.
- See also: Fiscal impact statement
The estimate of net state and local government fiscal implications of Proposition 1F provided by the California Legislative Analyst's Office said:
- Minor state savings related to elected state officials’ salaries in some cases when the state is expected to end the year with a budget deficit.
Explanation from SOS
- Existing provisions of the California Constitution direct the California Citizens Compensation Commission to establish and adjust the salary and benefits for Members of the Legislature and certain other state officers. This measure would prohibit the commission from adopting in a fiscal year a resolution that would increase the salary of Members of the Legislature or other state officers if the Director of Finance determines that there will be a negative balance in the Special Fund for Economic Uncertainties at the end of that fiscal year.
Interview with Abel Maldonado
Supporters of Proposition 1F included:
- Budget Reform Now.
- On April 26, the California Democratic Party, meeting in its annual convention, endorsed Proposition 1F.
The official arguments in favor of Proposition 1F in the voter guide were signed by:
- Abel Maldonado
- Lewis Uhler, president, National Tax Limitation Committee
- Joel Fox, president, Small Business Action Committee
Arguments in favor
Arguments made in favor of Proposition 1F in the official voter guide included:
- "A vote for Proposition 1F is a vote to prohibit legislators, the Governor and other state politicians from getting pay raises whenever our state is running a budget deficit."
- "By stopping legislative pay raises during state budget deficits, we can save our state millions of dollars when they're needed most and bring accountability to the legislature."
- "Since 2005, legislators have had their pay increased three separate times. In four years their pay has increased nearly $17,000. Every year legislators have received a pay raise the state has been in a deficit."
- "California's legislators are the highest paid in the nation, some earning more than $130,000 a year in salary plus tens of thousands more annually in perks and benefits. From taxpayer-funded cars and gas, to tax-free money for living expenses, legislators are living high off the hog while the state's deficit continues to grow."
$22,558,742 was reported contributed to the campaign in favor of a "yes" vote on Proposition 1F, with an additional $2,102 of reported independent expenditures in support.. Several of the most well-funded campaign committees advocating for a "yes" vote on Proposition 1F were simultaneously advocating for a "yes" vote on Propositions 1A, 1B, 1C, 1D and 1E. Because of this, it isn't possible to determine how much money was raised or spent just on Proposition 1F's behalf.
Stahl's arguments against Prop 1F included:
- The $116,208 annual salary of a legislator "is solidly middle-class compensation" considering average salaries in most regions of the state.
- Compared to how much executives are large companies typically earn, the salary paid to state legislators is "a terrific bargain."
- It is false to believe that legislators are influenced by how much they make, rather than by their underlying political beliefs.
- "Voters, please come to your senses. Proposition 1F will have absolutely no practical effect. Withholding pay raises from legislators will not suddenly propel them into agreement over how to balance the state budget. The problems run far deeper than that."
A group called "Stop Taxing Us" registered in opposition to Proposition 1F, but this committee indicated that it raised no money. $1,197 of independent opposition expenditures was however reported.
- The Field Poll conducted a public opinion research survey between February 20 and March 1 on Proposition 1F and the other five budget-related measures that will appear on the May 19 ballot.
- A Public Policy Institute of California poll that concluded in late March showed very strong support for Proposition 1F.
- On April 20-21, SurveyUSA conducted a poll of 1,300 California adults for KABC-TV Los Angeles, KPIX-TV San Francisco, KGTV-TV San Diego, and KFSN-TV Fresno. 15% of the registered voters they spoke with had already cast their vote. They concluded that for Proposition 1F, "the measure remains a jump ball."
|Date of Poll||Pollster||In favor||Opposed||Undecided|
|February 20-March 1||Field||77 percent||13 percent||10 percent|
|March 10-17||PPIC||81 percent||13 percent||6 percent|
|March 11-12||SurveyUSA||27 percent||31 percent||42 percent|
|April 16-26||Field||71 percent||24 percent||5 percent|
|April 20-21||SurveyUSA||32 percent||34 percent||33 percent|
|April 27 - May 4||PPIC||73 percent||24 percent||3 percent|
|May 8-10||SurveyUSA||45 percent||35 percent||20 percent|
|May 15-17||SurveyUSA||48 percent||38 percent||14 percent|
"Yes on 1F"
Newspapers endorsing a "yes" vote on Proposition 1F included:
- The Los Angeles Times, which wrote, "...we cannot be as cheerful as the campaign ads that began running last week...but the good outweighs the bad...It would merely block their pay raises when a deficit is predicted. This measure is, well, OK. It won't help much. But it won't hurt much either."
"No on 1F"
Newspapers endorsing a "no" vote on Proposition 1E included:
- The San Francisco Bay Guardian.
Path to the ballot
The California State Legislature voted to put Proposition 1F on the ballot via Senate Constitutional Amendment 8 of the 2009–2010 Regular Session (Resolution Chapter 3, Statutes of 2009).
|Votes in legislature to refer to SCA 8 to ballot|
Basic background information:
- Official Voter's Guide to Proposition 1F
- PDF of the mailed May 19, 2009 voter guide for Proposition 1F
- May 19, 2009 ballot proposition election returns
- Proposition 1F in the Smart Voter Guide
- Analysis of Proposition 1F (dead link) from the Institute of Governmental Studies
- Guide to Proposition 1F from the California Voter Foundation
- Summary of donors to and against Proposition 1F from Cal-Access
- Donors for and against Proposition 1F from Follow The Money
- California Secretary of State's announcement about May 19 ballot measures
- Budget Reform Now, official website in favor of Prop 1F
- Campaign finance reports of Budget Reform Now
- Proposition 1F would bar raises if state has deficit, San Francisco Chronicle, April 27, 2009
- Sacramento Bee, "Angry voters whack budget, politicians," May 20, 2009
- Los Angeles Times, "The Next Special Election: April? May? June?," February 9, 2009
- Los Angeles Times, "With budget stalemate over, next move is up to California voters," February 20, 2009
- Los Angeles Times, "With budget stalemate over, next move is up to California voters," February 20, 2009
- Los Angeles Times, "May 19 election deadlines already drawing near," February 20, 2009
- https://web.archive.org/web/2/http://www.ncsl.org/programs/legismgt/about/08_legislatorcomp.htm National Conference of State Legislures, "2008 Legislator Compensation]
- Policy Archive on legislative salaries
- NCSL salary backgrounder
- San Diego Union-Tribune, "State budget springs a leak," March 14, 2009
- Los Angeles Times, "State Democrats decline to endorse 3 of 6 ballot measures," April 27, 2009
- Voter Guide, "Arguments for and against Proposition 1F"
- Follow the Money, Proposition 1F
- Sacramento Bee, "One guy defends legislative pay hikes," February 27, 2009
- Sacramento Bee, "Field Poll shows early backing for budget items on ballot," March 4, 2009
- Field Poll results for initial polling on six budget measures on May 19 ballot
- Sacramento Bee, "Budget ballot measures face uphill fight," March 26, 2009
- Public Policy Institute of California, "Special Election Ballot Propositions Face Tough Road," March 25, 2009
- SurveyUSA, "One Month From California Special Election, Opposition Grows to 5 of 6 Ballot Measures," April 22, 2009
- Los Angeles Times, "Yes on 1A, 1C, 1D, 1E and 1F," April 26, 2009
- Institute of Governmental Studies, "Endorsements, May 19, 2009 ballot propositions"